Government Orders an Assessment of the Impact of International Students and Tier 4 Visa Application on the UK Higher Education Sector

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Posted on 14 Sep 2017

The Government has commissioned its independent advisers on migration, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), to complete a detailed assessment of the social and economic impact of international students (from both inside and outside of the EU) coming to the UK to study. 

The MAC will be looking into the impact of such students’ tuition fees and other spending on the UK economy, as well as their impact on the labour market, housing, transport and other services. The MAC will also evaluate the impact they have on the provision and quality of education to domestic students. 

The MAC has never undertaken a full assessment of this kind before and, in response, has announced that it will shortly be publishing a call for evidence setting out how stakeholders can feed in to their research. The MAC must produce its report by September 2018. 

The Government’s commission of this assessment will be welcomed by the many who are concerned about the impact of Brexit on the higher education sector. The UK is currently the second most popular destination in the world for international students, with 200,000 students being granted Tier 4 Visa’s last year. The Government has stressed that it strongly wishes to continue attracting international students, despite its commitment to reducing net migration figures, and has already confirmed that current EU students and those starting University courses in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic years will continue to be eligible for home fee status and the right to remain in the UK to study. The MAC’s report will no doubt strongly influence the Government’s thinking on what visa rules to impose on EU and non-EU students alike once we leave the EU in March 2019, so we await their report with interest. 

Click here to see the Government's commissioning letter to the MAC.

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